Category Archives: Home Life

Farmville before the Internet

Having kids who are deeply into online games like Farmville can be a bit weird. The insistence of “I can’t let my crops wither” seems a little disconnected from reality from time to time.

Now, I get computer games. I enjoy them. So I’m not about to go on a “you kids need to get outside into the real world” rant. Although that’s not a bad idea. Just stay off my lawn. Farmville I avoid – I’m more of a Zombie Farm kind of guy:

Double Rainbow - so intense!

Double Rainbow - so intense!

My recent trip to the UK with my partner had many high points but one of the fun surprises was seeing a play set of hers from about 40 years ago that showed the more things change, the more they stay the same. This play set involves dozens of tiny plastic pieces that you put together to make and decorate a farm – Farmville before the internet or home computers!

Just like Farmville, with this toy you got a basic set that is designed to get you hooked so you spend money upgrading to more features and pretty things. You can move the components around as much as you like for many different looks.

They even provide a custom tool for inserting the flowers and other decorative items into position.

After playing with it for a few minutes we both wished you could still buy this in shops. I guess the addictive nature of this and its similarities to Farmville shows the more things change, the more they stay the same.

And just for a sense of perspective and scale, here’s my massive head next to the farm:

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Christmas shopping

I’m having a small Christmas this year – I only have to buy presents for about half a dozen people. I come from a big family so if I happen to be having a family reunion type of Christmas that easily turns into a 30-40 present nightmare.

But the trouble with not having to buy many presents is I was lulled into a false sense of security. My complacency means I’m approaching Christmas Eve having done NO shopping. None. Zilch. Nada. My worst effort ever.

I’ve been spending extra time with my kids this week which has been great but it also means I haven’t been able to dedicate any time to shopping. I thought I’d make a late rally tonight by going to the huge mall a couple of suburbs away that’s having 24 hour trading. I waited until nearly midnight in the hope it would be relatively quiet.

It seemed like a good idea but the line for parking started about a kilometre away from the fucking mall! I turned around and came home. There’s no way I’m putting up with that shit. Having to search for parking for an hour then dealing with huge crowds of desperate people does not mesh with my temperament.

There would have been blood on the walls.

This is going to require some creativity tomorrow. I wonder what people would think of handmade gifts hastily put together from twigs and leaves?

I hope you, my dear readers, are more organised. Whatever it is you are doing at this time of year, enjoy yourself. Have fun and take care. I appreciate all the support you’ve given me and I want you coming back for plenty more doses of angriness next year!

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My egg disability

I hate cracking eggs.  Whenever I need eggs for cooking I always screw up somehow while cracking them.  Either I make a hideous mess or I get pieces of shell in the cooking or some combination of both.  My girlfriend, on the other hand, can crack eggs quickly and flawlessly.

This is very handy when she’s with me but at the same time, it serves to highlight my incompetence.  I know those bastard eggs are laughing at me.  “Here he comes,” they say, “the so called Mr Angry.  More like Mr Can’t Perform Basic Kitchen Functions.  Let’s watch him screw up again.”

Smug bastard eggs.  I’ll teach them.  I’m gonna fry them up good.  And the fucking frying pan is gonna be really hot.  I’m gonna fry up eggs I don’t even want to eat.  Just to stop them laughing at me.

Bastards.

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I’m gonna kill my neighbour

If my neighbour is really lucky I’ll have left for my New Zealand holiday before I kill the fucker.  The cheap bastard has a shitty car that never starts properly and he’s too cheap to get the fucking thing fixed.  I know this because I’m always hearing him try to start it.  You know that annoying rrrr-rrrr-rrrr noise you get when a car engine won’t turn over?  I get to hear that very regularly.

In itself, that wouldn’t be so bad.  But when it finally kicks into life, the ignorant prick revs the guts out of it for about a minute.  I’m assuming he does this in the hope the engine won’t cut out again.  Now, I’m not a mechanical expert but I think he’s actually damaging his already fucked engine by doing this.  Maybe someone who knows something about engines could confirm this.  But it’s a pissy little van and the engine sound like an over-worked lawn mower when he revs it.

He’s done this once while I was making a video and I had to stop until he’d finished because of the noise.  Maybe I should actually make it the topic of the video next time it happens.  He’s also done it very late at night but he stepped waaaaaaay over the line when he did it this morning.  At about 6-fucking-a-fucking-m.  The only reason he lived through it is I’m so out of it at that time of the morning he’d made a getaway by the time I’d stumbled into some clothes.

Assuming he lives through tonight, he’s got the two weeks I’m away to fix the fucking thing.  If it happens again after I get back I’ll muffle the noise by jamming his fucking head up the exhaust pipe.

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The Smoking Ghost

One thing guaranteed to piss off a non-smoker like myself is being subjected to cigarette smoke. I hardly go out to live gigs because of the assault of smoke while I’m out and the horrible stench of stale smoke impregnating my skin, clothes and hair when I get home. So the one thing you can be guaranteed that my place won’t smell of is cigarette smoke. The fucking pope can come for a visit and I won’t let him smoke.

But I can’t stop the ghost from smoking.

I’m not a superstitious person but the only explanation I can come up with for the recurring cigarette smoke smell in my place is a wandering smoking ghost. It isn’t my imagination because my girlfriend has confirmed that she smells it as well. It tends to be strongest in the kitchen and I’ve been working on a theory that might explain it.

Before anyone gets worried and thinks I’ve left my stove on or my wiring is shorting out – this a very specific cigarette smell, not a generalised burning or smoke smell. I’ve ruled out someone standing outside my kitchen window and smoking there just to piss me off – that would be paranoid. But I’m pretty sure the ghost is a sound theory.

If it isn’t a ghost I think it may be something to do with the plumbing. I learned the hard way that all the plumbing in this building is interconnected when my bathroom flooded after someone upstairs emptied their bathtub. So I’m working on an elaborate theory that involves smoke from someone else’s apartment being sucked down the pipes and coming up my kitchen sink.

If anyone has a better theory, I’d love to hear it.

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In Praise of Percussive Maintenance

Is anyone else a fan of percussive maintenance? I love it. For those unfamiliar with the concept, it's a technical term that means smacking the shit out of something that doesn't work. It isn't the most productive method for dealing with out of order machinery (assuming your goal is to make the machine work) but it remains popular with people of all works of life. I think there are two reasons people keep doing it: one, because sometimes it actually works and two, because it feels so damn good.

I've just had what I am determined will be my last fight with the laundry facilities in my apartment building. I've previously shared with you how I won't use the washing machines any more because they keep making oily stains on my clothes. As an aside, "oily stains from washing machines" is a popular search term that leads to my blog. To anyone who comes here looking for solutions, I'm not much help – my only solution is to stop using the fucking thing. Well, I was still using the dryer, right up until the bastard machine just took my money and didn't work.

It wasn't a lot of money ($2) but it pushed me over the edge. I kicked the absolute crap out of the dryer which resulted in nether the return of my money nor the dryer suddenly working. But I think I heard some of the machine's inner workings fall out. Which made me feel good. Then I ran away before any of the other residents came in and found me. Won't the next person who uses it get a surprise? There's probably a slowly spreading pool of oil on the ground now from the dryer slowly bleeding to death.

Fuck this, I'm going out to buy my own dryer.

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Sometimes it’s the Little Things

While I've spent a bit of time recently getting angry about political issues on the world scale but it's important not to lose touch with the little things that make me angry. Partly because these are the things I have to deal with on a daily basis and partly because the scale of the big world-wide bullshit oftentimes scares the crap out of me. So a lot of the time I'd prefer not to think about the big things.

I feel compelled to tell you today about how pissed off I usually end up after a trip to the supermarket. The angryfying incidents usually start as soon as I get there and don't stop until I leave. The first challenge is, of course, getting a parking space. Apparently everyone in my suburb gets the urge to go shopping at the same time because I have a bastard of a time finding a parking space whenever I go there. That's bad enough but have you ever noticed how the quest for a parking space tends to turn people into psychos?

Honestly, I'm not that aggressive towards other people in real life, despite appearances on this blog. The parking confrontation is bad enough when it's ambiguous who "found" the space first so it's not clear who should back off. But it really drives me crazy when you have been waiting for a car to come out of a space for a while then some nutjob swoops in and wants to fight you for it. And in many cases I mean literally fight. So you're put in a situation where you have to choose between engaging in an aggressive conflict or giving up a space that is rightfully yours by any standards of public decency. It's a fucking car space, not your ancestral homeland – get over it.

I think the car park thing is universal but the next part may be peculiar to me. I may have mentioned before my addiction to a particular caffeine laden fizzy beverage. Of all the variety of colas available there is only one I will drink out of preference. When there is an occasional special at the supermarket on my poison of choice I will attempt to stock up – get a couple of weeks' supply to save money. But the flavour I like is always the first to disappear from the shelves. This is not my imagination or some weird persecution complex. Maybe some of the other things I say are, but this is the simple truth.

My favourite is always, always the first one gone. And no word of exaggeration, at least 2/3 of the time when I go looking for an advertised special THEY DON'T HAVE ANY IN STOCK! The other four variations of the brand will be there in abundance but not mine. This is some bullshit conspiracy and when I track down the people behind it they are in trouble.

It goes beyond fizzy caffeine delivery systems too. There is a particular bread I like. It's thick cut and by some magical process (probably some evil chemical process) when you toast it, it goes crunchy on the outside and stays soft on the inside. It's totally awesome, fully living up to its advertising hype. And it's never in stock when I look for it. The same breadmaker has five other variations and they're always there. It never fails that my favourite is the only one out of stock. And so the whole trip to the supermarket is a waste of time. Yes, the only things I live on are bread and cola.

And then there's the checkouts. I have some insane, bizarre psychic power that enables me to pick the worst of all possible checkout queues to get in. If there are six lines, I'll pick the slowest. If I notice another line moving much faster and move over to it, after I get there it will slow right down and the line I used to be in will start moving faster. So I stay in one line knowing that changing lines is useless but then I see if I had changed to another line I would already be through.

So I've decided those cameras they have everywhere aren't to stop shoplifters. They use them to see me coming so they can get ready to fuck me over.

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Angry at Communal Facilities

I'm having one of those "events conspiring against me" weekends. My original plan was a party on Saturday night and not much else (leaving me plenty of time to obsess over my blog) but there were a lot of last minute add-ons. I ended up having my kids to look after unexpectedly but that's something I always say yes to, then a friend came to town for the weekend so I arranged to pick him up from the airport on Saturday and drop him off on Sunday. But the thing that's really pissing me off is I have to share a laundry in my apartment building.

I'm all for sharing, I'm virtually a communist. So long as everybody gets the fuck out of my way when I want to do something. In this apartment building I have to share a laundry even though I have my own washing machine because there's no damn washing machine taps in my flat. Which wasn't that bad because I figured out something out to my advantage. In my suburb generally and my building specifically there are a lot of orthodox Jews so they wont use the machine on Saturday because of the Sabbath. Ha ha! Organised religion works in my favour for once!

So I never used to have trouble getting machines when I wanted them and life was good. Then some fucker (probably a mechanic) washes clothes soaked in oil so all my clothes get ruined by fucking oil stains when I wash them in the same machine later. I don't have a problem with mechanics but what sort of fuckwit washes oily clothes in a machine that other people have to use? I'll tell you what sort: the sort I'm going to hunt down and kill. OK, well not kill but something terrible is going to happen to them. I haven't decided what exactly but it won't be nice.

With all the busyness this weekend it gets to sunday afternoon and I haven't done my washing and someone else is using the machine so I have to wait and now my stuff is in the dryer which is going to take hours so I'm blogging in the meantime but I have to take my kid's back to their mum's place soon and if I wait for my clothes to dry first I won't be back home from the drive until fucking midnight or something but if I leave my stuff unattended in the dryer some freak might get at them and steal my spandex g-string I mean my stuff so I'm really stressed at the moment in fact I think I'm getting a fucking migraine.

In the meantime, I'm open to suggestions on what to with the oily bastard who keeps ruining my clothes.

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Relationship Advice From Mr Angry

I have been asked previously why I've never had angry rants about any of my exes or women in general. Obviously things have happened in previous relationship that have made me angry (that's where the "ex" part comes in) but it isn't something I wanted to focus on in this blog, for a number of reasons.

First, I don't want to sound all whiny and embittered, a common pitfall for either gender when railing against insane exes (and I'm sure we all agree: all our exes are insane, otherwise they would still be worshipping us). Second, although I do this blog anonymously it isn't impossible that one of my exes would find out and recognise themselves. This would be bad for two reasons: one, I have no wish to restart old fights, two, some of my exes are dangerous psychotics and I don't want to re-motivate them to hunt me down.

A brief note to any exes who read this and work out who I am: you are clearly not the psychotic one, she's not smart enough to track me down on the net, no matter how much she tries.

So rather than saying what makes me angry about relationships, I offer the following pieces of advice, divided along gender lines where appropriate:

Rule #1 for males: It probably is your fault, so just accept it. Jokes aside, the range of male behaviour that would not even be noticed by the majority of other males can actually be quite affronting. Remember: just because you don't think it's offensive doesn't mean it really isn't offensive.

Rule #2 for males: It is almost impossible to over-communicate. Throughout history, the vast majority of relationship issues have spiraled out of control because a male didn't say something he assumed was understood.

Rule #1 for females: Internalising emotions doesn't mean you have no emotions. Men have a tendency to internalise, it rarely helps a man in life if he's overly expressive. Just because he doesn't talk about his feelings doesn't mean he doesn't have feelings.

Rule #2 for females: Decide what you like/want in a man and go for that type of man. Don't for the love of the baby Jeebus pick a man and then try to change him. Rough, tough macho men are unlikely to develop a sensitive, emotional side. Quiet, introspective men are unlikely to change into rugged outdoorsmen. Make everyone's life easier and DON'T TRY TO CHANGE MEN! Pick the right type in the first place.

One thing women should never say to men: in the rare circumstance where a man perceives that you are upset about something and he asks "what's the matter?" Don't say "Nothing's the matter." Don't do it. Never. No matter how angry you are. Say "I'm too angry at you to talk to you now" or "I'm too upset right now" or a simple "I don't feel like talking right now, we can talk later." But don't say "nothing". This is pointless and counterproductive for two reasons:

One: the man knows you are upset and gets pissed off when you brush him off like that. He thinks to himself: "Last damn time I ask her how she's feeling." And you'll wonder why you don't "connect" any more.

Two: the man thinks you're telling the truth and wanders off thinking everything is A-OK. Men are notoriously lacking in emotional sensitivity. If you luck into a scenario where he senses that you are upset, grab the opportunity with both hands. If he's the type who believes you when you say "nothing" he'll never notice your feelings again. If he does sense anything he'll assume he's wrong because you told him he was wrong last time. And it isn't really fair to be upset at him when his only flaw was to believe what you told him.

One thing men should never say to women: "When is the baby due?" Seriously. Never say this. No matter how sure you are she's pregnant. Because once you say this to a woman who turns out not to be pregnant, there's no recovering. You are forever condemned to the "ignorant male" category.

I realise I'm only talking about heterosexual relationships here. This isn't because I'm making any judgement on the value of gay relationships – I'm merely sticking to my areas of expertise. What the hell do I know about being gay?

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Flooding is Fun!

Ahhhhh, nothing quite like a restful Sunday. Relaxing to the sound of running water that turns out to be running down your hallway because the shower drain has been transported to a parallel universe where instead of draining water away, it has become a fountain which is flooding your home.

Oh the joys of living in an apartment block are never-ending, and shared plumbing is just one of these joys. See, when I noticed my shower wasn’t draining properly I stopped showering thus avoiding disaster. This was all for naught when the upstairs neighbour emptied their bath and thus hundreds of litres of water rush down the same blocked hundred year old pipe, hit the blockage and spurt back up to the lowest release point: my shower.

The joys of seeing water cascading towards all your electrical appliances aren’t easy to express, although I tried.  I may have been nominated by my neighbour for an award for "Most creative profanity in a stressful situation". So after paying $500 to get an emergency plumber to come out the source of the problem is fixed and things aren’t going to get any worse. The trouble is, 75% of the carpets in my flat are soaked which is pretty damn bad already. And I have to talk to the real estate agent today to deal with that and get my $500 back.

The fact that I am entirely blameless in this and have already been through huge amounts of stress should have absolutely no effect on the real estate agent. I’m sure they’ll keep things simple and blame me. These are paragons of virtue I place on about the same rung as car dealers and truck drivers.

Oh joy, I have such fun times to look forward to!

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